While throwing together a quick meal may seem like an ordinary task to you, in your child’s eyes it makes you a hero. To kids, taking random ingredients and turning them into a meal is nothing short of magic.
Fortunately, it’s never too early to show kids how to cook, too. It teaches them lifelong skills and the benefits of using whole foods. If you’d like to turn your kids into little chefs, here are five ways to start.
1. Familiarize Them With the Kitchen
The first thing you can do to get your kids interested in cooking is to familiarize them with the kitchen. Show them where dishes and utensils are stored, and why it’s important not to touch a hot stove. Older kids can do jobs such as setting the table or drying dishes. Getting kids used to the day-to-day operations of a kitchen will naturally spark an interest in food preparation.
2. Start With Baking Basics
One of the best ways to get kids to cook is by introducing them to baking. Kids love baking because it’s easy and fun, and the rewards are as sweet as sugar! Kids can learn how to use measuring cups and spoons from an early age. However, If you’ve never taught someone how to bake, brush up on your skills by researching baking for beginners. You’ll find straightforward recipes that hold a child’s attention and simple kitchen shortcuts.
3. Take Them to the Supermarket
For a crash course on all kinds of food, take your kids with you to the supermarket. Grocery trips are especially fun for kids with all the bright colors and fragrant smells. Test your little ones on their knowledge of fruits and vegetables in the produce section. Show them different types of meats, and introduce them to the workers you know. Grocery shopping should be enjoyable and it’s an educational field trip for children.
4. Buy Them Their Own Utensils
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Once your child learns the safety rules of the kitchen, let them have their own utensils. Kids will love cooking when they have their own little bowls, cake pans, cups and spoons. You can also buy them their own aprons and hats, so they look and feel like professional chefs! Even the littlest children can accompany you at the kitchen table with toy pots and pans that will sow a seed of interest in cooking.
5. Pick Your Own Food
One of the most educational ways to teach kids about cooking is to have them pick their own food. If you have the room, consider planting a small vegetable garden. Your kids can be involved in each step of cultivation, from planting to watering and watching seeds grow into vegetables. If you can’t plant a garden, visit an apple orchard or go berry picking. When kids see how food grows, they’ll want to learn more.
Getting kids into the kitchen at a young age creates a natural love for cooking. Teaching them how to bake, shop and grow their own food will also instil healthy habits for a lifetime.